A woman has been taking a common arthritis medication for a few months when she develops a persistent cough that grows worse with time. At first she thinks it's just a cold, then maybe allergies. She consults her doctor, but by then it has progressed. It turned out to be a deadly fungal infection called histoplasmosis that her arthritis medication allowed to grow. Who is at fault? An otherwise-healthy man taking a common diabetes medication dies from a sudden heart attack. Who is responsible? An active young woman taking a popular birth control pill suddenly collapses from life-threatening blood clots in her lungs. Who is to blame?
Sometimes getting your medication right can be a bit of a guessing game for your doctor and pharmacist. They need to balance out the benefits of a drug with potential side effects while dealing with other obstacles that are more patient specific, such as difficulty swallowing pills or being prone to allergies. In most cases the drugs that are ultimately prescribed are the same ones that were approved by the FDA and are used by thousands every day. For some people, the FDA drug doesn't seem to be the right choice, and they wind up working with their doctor and pharmacist on possible alternatives. One option they explore is compounded medication from a compounded pharmacy.
Hospitals and other healthcare providers have long asserted that preventable medical errors are rare, and that they usually have minimal impact on patient health. But is that true?
Perhaps no other disease is more feared than cancer. This aggressive condition can drastically decrease an individual's quality of life and can wind up being fatal. The good news is that many types of cancer can be effectively treated if detected early enough, which renders proper diagnosis critical. So, how do medical professionals detect cancer?
The human body can sometimes be difficult to decipher. This is particularly true when an individual experiences symptoms that may be applicable to more than one medical condition. This is where doctors can be extremely helpful, as their extensive education and experience leave them better suited to make diagnoses than non-medically trained individuals. Tragically, however, even these medical professionals make mistakes, and an error in diagnosis could prove harmful or even fatal. One circumstance in which a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose can arise is when an individual has suffered a stroke.
It does not take a doctor to know that diseases can vary in severity. It also does not take a medical professional to know that for many diseases, early diagnosis is key to effective and successful treatment. It does, however, take a medical professional to spot signs of a disease, order and conduct the proper tests, accurately read and analyze those tests and make a final and correct diagnosis. Far too often, though, doctors fail to properly perform their duties and the results can be deadly.